Mum’s the Word
Anne Shirley once said that she couldn’t imagine a world without Octobers. Well, that’s just dandy if you live far enough north for October to be autumnal. You remember Anne-with-an-E-Shirley, I’m sure. She’s the irrepressible protagonist from Anne of Green Gables which is set on Prince Edward Island where there’s a very real chance of snow in October.
Down here, the radio just announced the mercury will reach ninety for the hundred and twenty-seventh time this calendar year. Just let that sink in, my friends with an actual fall. I’m just saying it’s pretty hard to feel the Halloween spirit while floating on a raft in the steel pond. The water temperature is as warm as blood, and the humidity is still so high I have to convince myself I’m wet. I have been fighting a battle with algae, so my pool does look a little like a witch’s brew. I do what I can! It’s no use carving pumpkins because if they don’t melt in the heat, they attract every wasp between here and the Mason Dixon line.
It’s about this time of year that I go slap dab mum crazy. It’s too early to buy mums. They’ll burn up in the merciless October sun. But I can’t help myself. My wallet is twitching. I want to festoon the whole front porch and all the hanging baskets in glorious crimson mums! Shoot, I’d line the driveway with them if we could afford it. I may throw that weather-worn plastic wreath with the headless Santa figurine on the door and call it Christmas, but I’ll give Martha Stewart a run for her money when it comes to fall décor…just not yet.
If we could do Halloween in that dead week after Thanksgiving, that’d be just about right. We at least have a fighting chance at sweater weather by then. I could line up mum-sprigged haybales around the brush pile, and we could have us a good ole spook fest and wienie roast. We could run folks through our haunted trails and actually dress like monsters without worrying about having a heatstroke or worse…stepping on a moccasin.
I may have to eat my pumpkin pie in the sun and dress as a tropical zombie, but you can keep your pumpkin spice. I’ll take the mums, though! ALL the mums!!!